Thursday, April 27, 2006


Here in Maine this year we've been given a gift of no snow cover in March or April, thus extra TIME to get all those gardening chores done BEFORE the black flies invade...and they're starting. Just last sunday when we were hiking they were all around us, but I understand the males come first, and they're just irritating, then the females, and they're the ones that bite. Hmmm...Back to my point. This:

These are on top of the clean laundry pile. My favorite pair of jeans. Having knees like this is like wearing a badge of honor. To me. If I put a couple of rips in them, maybe I can sell them to Old Navy and make a mint.

Getting away from the still dirty laundry and on to other news, Ian (my wildly soon to be famous nephew has made the paper again, here. I read this and weeped, for his accomplishments, for my age. Because if he's old enough to be called a "Brewer Man", I'm really old.

But I got over it. I went shopping and found a DEAL. These:

Which I'm turning into these:

These are my "flower series" and I'm also doing a "house series" that will look something like this:

The cards are 5x7, a beautiful creamy white tri-fold, and come with a matching envelope...gotta love Marden's, our 'local to Maine' discount store. They're motto is, "I should have bought it when I saw it at Marden's. They're isn't a Mainer around who can't put the tune to it!

So, if anyone wants to purchase one or several, I'm going to sell them for $4 a piece. Just email me ( go to my profile at the top of this page) and I'll send them right off to you.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I'm exhausted this morning and I just got up. I didn't go to bed that late either, but yesterday afternoon work felt like the 'power hour' that went on for 4. And other stuff too. Stuff. It happens. But what I have to look forward to today is a mammogram and a day with my daughter. Time with sarah will be fun, the mammogram just a necessity. I feel like spending money.

This is a piece of my new hanging.

What do you suppose is going on here, those who have more experience with different battings and their idiosyncracies. This is warm and natural and is it rippling because of the batting itself? or because there's fabric fused to it? I found a post on Melody's blog discussing what all she does to her batting before she lays her fabric on top of it, and I thought I took extra care to press it carefully, but then this. I didn't want to do a stippling stitch in this area, but it seems thats the only solution to this now. Any help for future projects? BTW, I've NOT noticed this when I've used cotton fabric on top....this is one of Melody's beautiful silks I had leftover.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Since we haven't stayed at home for the last 6 or so weekends, Bruce and I decided to stay put and have a quiet one. I miss having little kids around for Easter egg hunts and all that candy that they share. But it's been a very nice and productive weekend.

I think we've accomplished all the things on our lists as far as yardwork and such. And also some time for inner contemplation. At least I have, sitting in my chair beside the lake, hearing the first loon of the year. I always do this..I say, 'what was that?' and then I remember the sound from so long ago.(last fall)

I've also had lots of time to not only read quite a few blogs, but read a lot of the archives too. I was looking for something in particular which I found. So much GOOD information hidden in those archives. All have IDEAS for new projects, some have STEP BY STEP tutorials, others lay out in black and white their ARTISTIC THOUGHT PROCESSES, wow-eeee!!!! Not only HOW they did it , but WHY they did it. Melody Johnson's is a virtual treasure trove of GOOD STUFF, mostly because she's so generous in sharing all the things she knows and is learning. I love to read Joanne's blog,she has incredible journal information, (passed on with a bit of humor) any of which can be a jumping off point for any new project. Sarah Smith has a whole CLASS on color if anyone has a problem in that area. Deborah, well, she's my inspiration in many things. And perhaps for this post. How about heavy deep and real? Lots of it, like this bit of advice "It's only fabric"! Seems to me someone should write about this blogging ring of friends.....hmmmm.

So, I'm enamored with all the beautiful dyed and painted (Sonji) fabrics I've seen all over the place, i'm psyched to do some more of my off I go, to use the $70 worth of dyes I just ordered from Dharma and see what happens. Or to watch The Chronicles of Narnia, I'm not sure which.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Hey, we're back!

Maybe you didn't know I was gone. Florida. Visiting good friends. I've spent the last two days catching a quick blog here and there and working at my regular job, but now it's the weekend and I can catch my breath and do some laundry. And post some nice pictures of our mini vacation. We arrived in Florida just in time to have wine and appetizers on the beach in Boca Grande...what a beautiful spot and some people are just lucky enough to live there...(you know who you are). Though I hear there's a major problem with very large iguanas getting into people places.

wine at sunset

Then a delicious dinner of lobsters that bruce and I brought fresh from the frigid Maine waters. We brought all the fixin's except a pot to cook them in, which as it turns out, we probably should have brought that too. But it was fun scrambling around trying to be creative...notice the galvanized pan we finally ended up worked great, too. Just took forever for the water to boil. Not a hardship though, we had plenty of wine to sustain us. And they were the best lobsters any of us have ever eaten, and we've all had our share.

Carole and the Lobsters

We did a lot of beach,

and a little hiking and letterboxing at this very cool place called The Rookery where there were many, many herons, egrets and another bird I'd never seen called anhingas? And lots of babies in nests.

I had more pictures, closeups of the nests, but blogger is giving me a hard time uploading so I'll end with just one more. The last night with the Vincents: the warm air, beautiful flowers everywhere, a great meal to come, good friends, and Carole and I having drinks IN the pool. How downright decadent!!!

After laundry, it's back to my studio! Can't wait. BTW, notice my new haircut? I have a very talented daughter in law. I'm lovin' it short.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I'll be gone for a few days, not that that's anything new! We're taking a long weekend trip to visit with friends in Florida. You know, WARM! But I did want to post the pictures of the books I've been working on for my friend Tricia. These are the first 5 I've completed (out of 13) and each time I pull them out I add a little more. I can't help it.

Each one was made with a suggestion from Tricia of what the girls like and each has their name on them somewhere. Inside is a sketchbook that, when filled, can be substituted for a new one.

The process has been fun and done completely idea (except for the photo transfers on some) what to use for fabric or what it will end up looking like. Auditioning fabric and doo-dahs till I get a combination that appeals to me.

Alyssa likes roses, but she's also a ballet dancer...the flowers are supposed to look like they're reaching over their heads. Didn't know how to make a flower do first position though.

Can you see the influence of my good friends in this one? Sonji bundle (sort of) and Deborah's traveling flowers!

This one was done with some of my hand painted fabric for the background. A couple of the others have pieces of my own dyed fabric in them.

So, 5 down and only 8 more to go! The camera doesn't show the quilting very well, but there's a lot on each one.

And one final family news flash...I've HEARD but haven't seen that Charlotte is walking and giggling the whole time! She was close when we saw her last weekend. Laurel sent an MVI file which of course my computer won't open up, so we'll have to wait for the real thing!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Vaughn Woods State Park

Yesterday after breakfast we took a little hike and did some letterboxing. Check this out if you've never done it before. It's like Geocaching, but without the aid of a GPS which in our case doesn't seem to work very well anyway. I learned about it (along with many other things) from Deborah. I love it because it gets us out and exploring places we'd probably never go. Built in ADVENTURE!!! And Carey (my grandson) loves to look for the TREASURE. What six year old wouldn't see the fun in this. The picture I posted yesterday was after the find, sort of a family portrait without sarah, who was sick poor thing. And me.

Carey and Sean

Carey. Ever seen a six year old that DIDN'T have a stick or two in his hands?!!

This is the Hamilton House on the grounds of Vaughn Woods. Incredible setting for a home. Check out the link for a little interesting historical information, especially if you're living in southern Maine and are looking for something to do on a warm sunny day.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

AQM on Saturday

Our bi-monthly quilt meeting was this past saturday and even though we had a small turnout, there was lots of creativity going around. One of our very talented members, Hilary Ervin had proposed a doll workshop. We were all supposed to bring a naked doll made from the pattern she had circulated last meeting.

Everyone who brought a doll body also brought lots of "stuff", beads, fabric scraps, yarns and other embellishments. The results:

This doll is the only one from a different pattern. Check out that bra!

And this has a nice little derrier fashioned from the heel of the sock!

Beads used in different ways.

Only the beginning for a lot of people who wanted to add more doo-dahs to their doll. As always the talk while everyone worked in their "creative zone" was as good as anything else. Unfortunately, (in one sense) I had to leave early so I missed show and tell. BUT WAIT!

One of our most prolific members who leaves each winter for warmer weather was back and I made her give me a sneak preview. Jeanne Marie Robinson has a knack for pieced backgrounds and appliquing the best stuff on top. A love of animals and the natural environment is very evident in her work, so this is a small piece of her show and tell. Everything is HAND appliqued and HAND quilted. And I didn't get a picture of the BACKS, but they're always as beautiful as the fronts! Her husband helps her come up with the best titles for her work, too.

Split Poissonality, This started out as Hopscotch and TicTacToe piecework with Diane Hire who I can't believe doesn't have a website.
And this one is called Fondue on the Hoof:

The Maine quilt show special exhibit this year is the Lobster and this is Jeanne Marie's entry, well, a piece of it. Remember I was getting a SNEAK PEAK!


I love Jeanne Marie's work and I love being related to so much talent, even if it is by marriage! And speaking of family, this:

is why I left the meeting early, a pretty good reason if I do say so myself, but more about that tomorrow.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Living in Maine we're always surprised when the weather turns nice in March. I think this is the first time I can ever remember raking and REALLY being warmed by the sun. How banal, talking about the weather. But it IS truly amazing! Raking...and I have a bandaid to prove it! (Sorry it's so dark. And wrinkly)

Elastigirl for Deborah! I just looked back in her archives for a picture of the BEST Christmas card I ever saw and I can't believe she never blogged about it. I was going to link to it, but guess not. Her family was dressed up as the Incredibles: Jeff was Mr. Incredible, she was Elastigirl, Benjamin was Dash and Claire was Violet. Very creative and clever of our Deborah.

I've taken a break from my Ireland piece to work on some commission pieces that need to be done in a couple of months. An artist friend of mine has 13 seniors in her art classes and as a departing gift she wants to give each one a personalized sketchbook. So, I've been making covers for all of them. So far I have four in different stages of finish. They've been fun, relaxing and each one is like taking a quick gulp of fresh air. I'll have pictures soon. In the meantime, our Art Quilts Maine meeting is today so I'm sure there'll be lots to see here soon!!